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'Smarter' Andrei Arlovski still has fire in his eyes, looks to face Werdum soon

MMA veteran Andrei Arlovski thinks he'll have a better run with the UFC than he did when he won the heavyweight title 10 years ago.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Andrei Arlovski was widely considered one of the best fighters in the world when he won the UFC interim heavyweight championship (later promoted to official title) after submitting Tim Sylvia in 2005. It's been a bumpy road since then, with 'The Pitbull' almost retiring in 2011 after suffering a series of devastating KO but persevering to emerge as a top 5 ranked UFC heavyweight in 2015.

Things are 'different' for the Belarusian now, and Arlovski believes his late career resurgence will end on a high note.

"I think I became a smarter person," he stated on the UFC 191 Media Call. "I choose what is more important for me and I have a second run in UFC. I'm sure it's going to be better than the first one. I don't ever think it's impossible to be a champion again.

"I just love what I'm doing right now and I feel great... I still have fire in my eyes," he continued. "I'm just really grateful. It's different than last time it was 10, 15 years ago. I still have that hope in my mind that I'm going to do this for my fans and just show that it's not impossible to take a great competitor out on September 5."

With the fire still in his eyes, the 36-year-old hopes to face newly minted champion Fabricio Werdum in the near future. The Brazilan submitted Cain Velasquez in the third round of UFC 188's main event in June and will look to defend his title in an instant rematch with the Mexican-American by the end of the year or in early 2016.

"I have no comments about Fabricio Werdum," he said. "I thought Cain [Velasquez] was going to beat him, but you have a new champion and hopefully one day I'm going to fight him again."

Andrei Arlovski will collide with Frank Mir this weekend for the co-main event of UFC 191. The event goes down at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on September 5th.

(Transcripts via

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